Lala heard the screaming at the Krishna Hotel on Mission Street and went back to bed.
When she woke up, the 37-year-old woman in Room 46 was dead.
Alan Pringle, the chief investigator for the Medical Examiner’s Office, said the victim was Amy Mustain.
Lala and other residents said police arrived early Wednesday morning and stayed at the hotel until 11 a.m. Police said they arrived at 11:34 p.m. Tuesday after receiving an anonymous call.
The victim was a friend, said Lala who declined to give her last name, but said she has resided at the Krishna Hotel at 2032 Mission Street for the past eight years.
“She was yelling for him to stop and he was telling her to shut up. If I would have known he was killing her I might have tried to help, but I know Mickey would have done something to me too if I had gone over there,” said Lala.
Henry “Mickey” Hill was a friend of Mustain and her partner, Doug Krow, according to Lala. Hill sometimes allowed the couple to stay in the single room he rented when they didn’t have enough money to rent their own, Lala added.
It’s unclear, however, if Hill or Krow were at the hotel at the time of the incident.
Sal Patel, the owner of Krishna Hotel, confirmed that Hill had been a tenant for over two years but didn’t know much about him other than what he saw while Hill was going up and down the stairs.
“He was big and loud. Sometimes he’d just scream at someone to move out his way when he was running up the stairs, or shout at people in the hallways,” Patel said.
Police said the anonymous caller who tipped them to the body in Room 46 contacted them again after the first call wanting to “turn himself in” but he never showed up.
“I was talking to the police, telling them what I heard when the cop said something about the coroner, but I didn’t know Amy was dead yet. I thought Mickey just beat her up or something,” said Lala.
Malcolm Lefkin who has been living next to Room 46 for two months said he didn’t know the occupants personally. Although Lefkin would not discuss details of the incident, he confirmed the presence of police until roughly 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The Krishna is one of six so-called SROs on Mission Street between 16th and 17th streets. Room 46 is on the second floor at the far end of the hall. Lala lives about five doors away on the same floor.
On Wednesday evening, the halls of the 22-room single room occupancy hotel were still with only a few voices drifting through doors.
The only difference was a square sticker — bright white against the peeling mahogany paint — sealing and declaring entry to Room 46 a felony by order of the medical examiner.
Half of the yellow police tape lay on the ground in front of the door. Above the peephole, in fading black marker, someone had drawn a peace sign; below it, a heart.
“He was a nice guy sometimes, but he smoked a lot of crack and if he didn’t have enough that day and you got in his way, he’d go crazy,” Lala said about Hill. She said she had only heard Hill and had not seen him in the room at the time of the murder.
Although no information has been released concerning the cause of death or primary suspects, the SFPD Homicide Division is investigating the incident as a “suspicious death.”